Glovertown: the book club capital of N.L.

Glovertown has a population of 2,100 people, five book clubs, and one happening public library.

Canada Reads 2017 visits the epicentre of Glovertown literary life: the Glovertown Public Library

Rose Sweetapple is the librarian at the Glovertown Public Library. (Heather Barrett/CBC)

CBC's Canada Reads visited Glovertown last week all because of an offhand remark Kevin Blackmore made on CBC Radio's Weekend AM in the winter of 2016.

Blackmore, who is the 'Buddy' of Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, was helping promote a one-day literary festival in the town. In passing, he mentioned that there were five book clubs in Glovertown.

Five book clubs?  In a town of about 2,100 people?  

Members of the Terra Nova Chapters, one of the five book clubs active in Glovertown. (courtesy Jane Hynes )

The Terra Nova Chapters, Paper Cuts, Read Between the Wines, The Lit Chicks and the Bookworms all get their books from Rose Sweetapple, the librarian at the Glovertown Public Library.

"Our library is not the quietest, but I believe it's the best," said Sweetapple.

Readers of all ages 

The Glovertown Public Library is located in an open space in the town's K-12 school, and Sweetapple has made it her mission to have readers of all ages coming and going at all times.

Sweetapple has a popular pre-school reading program, nooks and crannies for school ages children and teens, and she is the main supplier of reading material for all the Glovertown book clubs.

We're a small place. We need to create our own entertainment.- Jane Hynes

The librarian orders the provincial library system's Book Club To Go kits. If a Glovertown book club wants a book that`s not available in a kit, she will source individual copies from libraries across the province.

"Sometimes there are 50 books coming in and 50 books coming out,"  said Sweetapple. 

Canada Reads event a hit 

Flash forward to Thursday evening at the Glovertown Public Library and the CBC Canada Reads 2017 event.

Madeline Ashby, author of Company Town, went to Glovertown from Toronto to take part in the library's CBC Canada Reads 2017 event. (Heather Barrett/CBC)

Madeline Ashby, Toronto-based author and futurist, read from and talked about her novel Company Town, one of the books on the 2017 Canada Reads Shortlist.

Members of all five Glovertown book clubs, and those from a neighbouring book club in Eastport, showed up to hear her. It was a rare moment at the library when you could hear a pin drop.

Busy readers, busy people  

It seems like the more the citizens of Glovertown read, the more they do.

On non-book club nights, there are visual art and music groups, and rug hooking and fly tying clubs.

Members of the Glovertown Book Clubs arrived early at the Canada Reads 2017 event at the Glovertown Public Library. They wanted to make sure they got seats. (Heather Barrett/CBC )

And naturally, the book club members showed up at the library with trays of homemade treats for snacking and socializing.   

"We're a small place. We need to create our own entertainment," confirmed Jane Hynes, one of the book club's organizers.

"That's why we have book clubs."

About the Author

Heather Barrett


Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.